Diesel or gasoline is essential to start and run the semi-trucks and is stored in special containers. The number of these tanks can vary depending on the type of automobile.
How Many Fuel Tanks Does a Semi-Truck Have? Semi-trucks have two fuel tanks and can hold up to 300 gallons of diesel. Do not overfill the tanks to avoid violating the rules, and avoid driving the vehicle on empty tanks. They can cover 200 miles on nearly empty tanks and 2000 miles on full tanks. It costs about 900$ to fill two tanks with 150 gallons capacity in each.
These are heavy-duty vehicles and require more fuel to haul the load to other areas. The tanks in these automobiles are different from other tanks in many aspects. The drivers can also install customized tanks to get more capacity.
Number of fuel tanks in semi-trucks
The semi-truck engine uses a mixture of fuel and air to generate energy that runs the wheels smoothly. Fuel tanks are containers that hold the diesel in the trucks.
They store the fuel and deliver it to the engine to start the automobile. They also protect it from contaminants and other pollutants.
Number of tanks is different in all types of vehicles. The number of containers depends upon the required power and the size of the trucks. On average, all types of heavy trailers have two fuel tanks.
They are mounted on both sides of the tractor and contain approximately equal amounts of fuel. These containers usually have cylindrical shapes, and others are rectangular or square-shaped. Another shape is a D -style, which is a combination of cylindrical and rectangular containers.
It is designed to hold a maximum quantity of diesel and maintain balance on each side of the trailer.
They are usually made from aluminum or other light metal. Some old types of these heavy-duty trailers have only one tank.
Average fuel capacity of the semi-truck tanks
The storage capacity of the tanks depends upon their size. These vehicles are designed to carry heavy loads and require more fuel to do their job.
That is why the tank size is large and has more capacity than tanks of other automobiles. The average size of these containers can vary depending on the manufacturer of the semi-truck.
These trucks have larger containers with high capacity. A tank in a semi can hold up to 130 to 150 gallons of fuel. In terms of liters, it has a capacity of approximately 460 to 550 liters.
Both of the tanks have a similar capacity to hold the diesel. So it can have up to 300 gallons of fuel at a time. Some other types are also manufactured to carry more diesel for traveling long distances.
How do the semi-truck fuel tanks work?
One fuel tank is called the primary, and the other is known as the secondary tank. The secondary container serves as a backup to deliver fuel on long journeys. Both of them are connected by a pipe. A pump is present in these tanks that pump the fuel toward the engine.
The pump takes fuel from both tanks to maintain balance on both sides of the semi-truck. Otherwise, the vehicle can fall due to imbalance due to diesel weight on one side of the truck. A self-balancing device is present that equalizes the fuel in both tanks.
In most cases, the second container serves as a backup, and drivers can switch to it when the primary tank is empty. Some truck models automatically switch to a second tank to get the fuel from the container.
Does fuel weight in a semi-truck affect the weight limitations?
Every vehicle has to follow some rules and regulations regarding the overall weight of the vehicle.
The fuel tanks can have a large impact on these limitations and can cause violation of any of these rules. First of all, let’s have a look at how much fuel in the semi-trucks weigh.
One gallon of fuel weighs approximately 7 to 8 pounds. A tank containing 120-gallon fuel can weigh 840 pounds. Two containers containing 120 pounds can weigh around 1680 pounds.
Temperature and diesel quality can cause a slight difference in the weight readings. Overweight vehicles can get into trouble if inspected by the traffic police.
The drivers have to pay a fine for violating the weight limitation rule. The drivers partially fill the tanks to avoid violating the weight limitations.
Can you drive the semi-truck on a nearly empty tank?
No, you should not drive the semi-truck on nearly empty tanks. It is always advised to refill the containers before the fuel completely runs out.
Empty tanks can cause much damage to the system of the vehicle. The pump starts to pump air instead of fuel in the system. The truck will not start until the air is removed.
The pump can also pump dirt and contaminants in the system that can clog other parts like fuel injectors and filters.
That’s why drivers should check the fuel level in the tank before starting the truck. They should also take a break every 300 miles to refill the containers to avoid problems.
How many miles can a semi-truck travel on empty tanks?
Empty tanks do not mean empty containers. It is a commonly used phrase, but the tanks still have some fuel that can take you to the gas station. The semi-trucks have warning lights to indicate the diesel level is low.
These lights come on when the remaining fuel is 10 to 20%. The containers are filled with 80 to 100 gallons of fuel when the indicator light comes on. It is better to keep the needle at ¼ mark for the indicator light to come on.
The miles a semi covers in this fuel depends upon the load and the air resistance. On average, it can cover approximately 190 to 200 miles when the tank is nearly empty.
It can cover 300 miles in the same quantity in the loaded situation because the loaded trailer faces less air resistance.
How far can a semi-truck travel with full tanks?
How many miles a semi-trailer covers with full tanks depends upon the fuel efficiency of the engine and the model of the truck. On average, the MPG of these vehicles is approximately 6 to 9 miles per gallon. Two tanks can have up to 300 gallons of fuel.
So it can travel up to 1800 to 2000 miles on full containers. The mileage per gallon can also differ due to terrain, weather conditions, and the condition of the vehicle engine and other parts.
Rough terrain, heavy loads, and airflow can drop the mileage by 2 to 3 units. The load on the trailer can also impact the MPG of these trucks.
The type of fuel in the tanks can also affect the MPG of these automobiles. Diesel is more efficient and has reduced consumption as compared to gasoline and gas.
Cost to refill the semi-truck fuel tank
The cost to fill these tanks depends upon the retail price of the fuel, like diesel. A gallon of diesel costs about $3 to $4, and a tank with a capacity of 150 gallons can cost up to $450.Filling both containers of the semi-trailer can cost up to $900.
The drivers are always advised not to fill these tanks. It is better to fill them up to 95% of their capacity. There are various reasons to avoid filling them.
Overfilling can cause spillage of fuel, which can be dangerous for the vehicle and the environment. The fuel expands and contracts depending on the ambient temperature.
The expended diesel needs more space in the tank. So filling it up to 95% capacity can compensate for the expansion of the diesel.